Gardening 2018 #2: Garden Center Haul

2 weeks or so has past since the first Gardening 2018 post!

Time sure does fly by. I’ve been working hard on weeding and setting up the garden with what I have so far. There is still a ton of stuff to do but Victoria Day long weekend is the staple weekend where I go to the garden centre and pick up at least my first big haul! This year, I went back to Les Serres Jean-Francois Dauphinais.

This place is still one of my more favorite places to go to. I actually also made a quick stop over at Pepiniere Auclair.

Here’s a lovely mosaic of what I did pick up at the center as a starter and after, we’ll take a look at what I’ve planted and other garden updates as a follow-up from the last post.

Its the first year that my husband was fully awake to go to the garden centre with me and ended up leaving feeling like he enjoyed it. That is the difference of being on graveyard shift and normal shift (at least for him). It was a very different experience and he was a real champ and kept me company and helped me out a few times with the whole gardening thing. A different experience in some ways. This is definitely just the first batch and the two flowers are the only ones currently not planted in ground yet. We have a few little gardening clean-up areas left but my husband has been working on a few little things helping me open up some more of the garden this weekend as well.

Let’s take a look at how everything looks now!

First Part: Front Yard

The flower patch in the front yard definitely has grown a lot more since the last update. Amazing what two weeks could do. Crimson Star still doesn’t have any buds so I’m wondering if it will since its already much later than usual. The tulips are all blooming now and giving some beautiful colorful life to my front yard. Once these end, the yellow flowers in the back should bloom if things go well. Aside from that, it seems that my middle area is not coming back so I’m going to be moving something over that has been cramped up in a corner of the garden forever but I just never found a home for it. Update on that next time for sure!

Moving along, the Bleeding Hearts are looking spectacular. I’ll be posting some cool pictures of it over on Avenue of Daydreams over the next week or two. Its scheduled but I can’t remember when.

gardening

Honestly, this sad patch along the front facade of my house did get a nice trimming and yet again, I forgot to take a picture of it since the last time but the Dianthus seems to be coming back. This patch seems like its not having much perennials come back, however, as I walked around this week, I saw, what I believe is, the cone flowers coming back. Its the little leaves in the top right area. I remembered i had moved one there and it was shadowed by the hydrangeas but this year I trimmed the hydrageans so hopefully it’ll successfully come back.

Part 2: Strawberries & Raspberries

Enough said about this area. Its just growing out of control as usual. The strawberries are getting perkier and stronger every year. There are a lot of blossoms. Hopefully the bees are dropping by to pollinate it. As for the Raspberries, I’m trying to keep it under control but it sure looks like, its not exactly making much of a difference. I waited two weeks and already my lily is hidden in these raspberry shrubs already.

Part 3: Container Gardening

Marigolds

On with the container gardening! We are actually have quite a few of these this year despite saying that we’d have less. As usual, the planter for the ledge of the patio full of marigolds. Marigolds naturally repels mosquitoes so that is the purpose of them being at the edge. Talking about mosquito repellent, here is my mosquito repellent container.

Mosquito Repellent Container

Geranium Citronella, Lemongrass and Marigold makes up for my mosquito repellent container. I read somewhere that if you walk by the plant and brush your hands over it, it will help keep the bugs away. I did it on one arm and it didn’t get me but the other arm caught a mosquito bite. Even if its not effective, it still looks pretty nice. One of my prouder planting moments 🙂

Basil, Curled Parsley

A little change here as well. Usually I get a few herbs and plant them in a container garden. This year, we got the lavender that went into the ground right away (at least I chose to do that), leaving these two so I put them into a smaller pot. I’m hoping there’s enough space but the strong one will survive, right? It’ll make it out! *positive thoughts*

lettuce lettuce

Others may hang flowers in their hanging pots but since 2 years ago, we’ve been planting lettuce in hanging pots and let me tell you, they are quite successful usually. This year, we are changing it up and putting 2 lettuces instead of three. Three always ends up one being scrawny and sad so hopefully two will work out for the better. With that said, the lettuce this year was slightly weak and when I was taking them out, two broke off from their roots. I’m currently trying to revive them in water to hopefully sprout back some roots but don’t know if it will work.

As you can see, lettuce and cucumbers are dominant in the garden this year. With limited garden space as the expansion is still in progress, we are doing two cucumbers in containers this year and I did some companion planting research and paired them up with lettuce. Kale makes no difference so I just put it in since they don’t take a lot of space and we harvest them fairly quickly as we like to make kale chips and cook it.

The final two are just individual kale and my variety of lettuce containers. The highlight here is that I’ve rigged the top one with a watering system. To be honest, I don’t think the system works as well. The water goes down a little too fast for it to be useful. The wine bottle method in the bottom is definitely still doing the trick. I’m going to compare the two and see at the end of the season, which works better. Who knows before we observe for a little while longer.

Part 4: Vegetable Garden

echinacea

The echinacea is back! I’m really happy about that. I did lose one of them but at least one came back so I’m already fairly satisfied with it.

We put up the same fence as we had last year. Its to prevent bunny attacks on my lettuce. This part is the general informal entrance of my patch since you pretty much need to straddle the front trellis to get in. Its not tall but can still be hard to do. As you can see, my blueberries are growing well enough. The green onions are bursting with harvest and there in the middle is a cucumber plant. We needed to keep them near the mesh side and I’ll be getting a trellis to link it to the side.

Continuing to the other side and the full extension. The far left is all herbs. Lemon Mint and Oregano came back and in the center, I planted the Lavender. As for the rows, The first row is Marketmore cucumbers and Kale. The reason for this is to swap things around. I’ve planted zucchini in the front for a few years and its normal to change things around to help the soil replenish nutrients. Second row is all the Bok Choy. And the final row is English Cucumbers and Zucchini.

Part 5: Water Lily/Water Garden Debut

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

What can I say? I grew up with a pond in my backyard. Water gardens remind me of my dad. A part of me has always wanted a water garden so I made the effort to get a water lily and try to make it grow especially after my mom gave us these giant clay pots last year which was my dad’s. The water lilies was pretty pricey but I believe if you put them under soil over winter, its supposed to make it through every year. My mom is the expert on that so I’ll get more info from her soon.

And that’s it for the garden!
We have an idea of opening up a few more patches so my husband has been helping me a ton with that!
He makes the progress go a lot faster especially when opposite from my scattered mind of wanting to do everything at the same time, he actually focuses on one task.

Still some research! I’ll update with the flowers being planted in ground.
I just want to make sure that I open a big enough plot so that I can see the Clematis and it will give it the best chance of survival and blossom.
And a few moving plants about the garden coming up and pruning of a few trees.

Seems that this Gardening thing will be a biweekly deal as it currently stands.
I’m just a beginner gardener so its a journey all on its own.

Gardening 2017 #1: Beginning of a New Season!

Spring is finally here! And those showers are definitely soaking up Montreal and the sun is hiding away under those thick clouds and its mostly overcast when its not raining. Either way, when we finally caught a break from the rain over the weekend, I headed out for a few hours to tend to the garden. One mission was to see what was coming back and what didn’t. We had a particularly harsh winter, well, mostly because of that crazy storm in early March or end of February or something. Regardless, the garden looks decent. Still, pretty dead but things are mostly coming back.

Flower Patch in the front garden

Rose bush

Crimson Star

The front patch here is doing quite well. As usual, we have some perennials that struggling to come back. I’ll have to look into figuring out whether its zonage or whether its just the ground isn’t fertilized or just weather issues. Whatever it is, a good bit of this patch is back. Chrysanthemums, Crimson Star, Lilies and some flowers my mom gave me that I don’t remember the name of. The rose bush is back. Tulips are here. Its all looking really nice. We’re still waiting to see if the violets are going to come back. My guess right now is that it won’t, no signs yet. Still keeping our fingers crossed though.

Raspberry & Strawberry patch all cleaned up and pruned!

I finally got around to cleaning up and especially pruning my overgrown raspberry plant.It might not look it right now but I’ve actually trimmed it quite a bit and got rid of some of the spread that it has in anticipation for the lilies to be moved after the blooming season to somewhere it can thrive better. The strawberries are doing great as well and we already have bunnies sitting in our yard waiting to eat them before it even flowers. Those fearless bunnies are my biggest garden issues and why we have gone into planning vegetable garden fence mode. Unlike last year, where we realized too late and had to just wing a fence that actually worked remarkably well. Except this year, we want to add a little space and a decent trellis.

I guess its time for the vegetable garden update. Note that I didn’t have time to clean up this patch yet.

Rhubarb

Shallots

Vegetable Garden covered in broccoli buds….Yikes!

I’m missing at on of pictures because I got shocked by ALL the broccoli growing out of my vegetable garden. Apparently, when I didn’t have time to close the garden and left the plant there, all the seeds just grew out and now I’m stuck with this situation. However, my mom and Phoebe (aka Starry Traveler’s Road) has agreed to take some and we might put some in containers but they need much more space than that to grow so I’m guessing some of them will just naturally die off and not survive the pretty odd weather we’re having. Moving on from broccoli though, the rhubarb is doing fantastic like every year and last year, my mom gave me some shallots and they are growing fine also and pretty much ready for harvest.

As for things without pictures, my thyme seems to show signs of growing back. I was worried since I moved it pretty late in the season and it was getting pretty chilly. The asparagus is also back. On the side note, the echinacea which we planted last year is also back. It lines the fence mostly because it is a herb, looks pretty and apparently bunnies are fans of them so it was also to fend off neighbor cute pests. Its nice to see them back also.

Plans for this year

  • Raised flower bed (for butterflies and bees)
  • Another garden for Blueberries (and other edible food)
  • Some more restructure and sturdier fencing for vegetable garden

Do you garden? What flowers or veggies do you like to plant?

My Weekly Adventures: Gardening and Something New!

Weekly Adventures seems like a good place to address why things have been a little off schedule. Thing is, my backlog I had built is depleted. I’m rebuilding it right now but the reason is that these last two weeks have been so busy with just preparing the house for the new season, mostly gardening, that I haven’t sat in front of the computer.  And when I do, I fall asleep.  Energy level is just not there.  Honestly, I needed to reassess a few segments and give it all a new direction and organize a few little other things.  Still, its been busy even if posts are up in the morning as I usually would like them.

These last two weeks haven’t been exactly eventful.  It has been but I already talked about the Ottawa Race Weekend. If you missed it, you can check it out HERE! Other than that, there’s mainly a lot of gardening and just a little bit here and there.  This will be a shorter post (unless I ramble and I’m already doing that…).

Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden

This isn’t the updated version two weeks later now but when I first planted it that day, this is what it looked like.  What do I have here? Cucumbers, Asparagus, Leeks, Okra, Kale, Lettuce, Zucchini and Eggplant. If you were looking at the updated version, well, the lettuce is almost all eaten but the neighborhood bunnies sadly. I’m trying to figure out a way to remedy that problem with fences. And somehow the cucumbers, at least some of them, either got uprooted by the heavy rain or it got pulled out and dried out in the hot weather so I only have two (and one half dying) still there. Other than that, everything seems to be doing good.  My zucchini is by far the strongest, followed closely with asparagus and broccoli. Although, maybe the asparagus won’t count because I need ot at least take care of it for 3 years before there is any harvest.

I’ll give you an update on the vegetable garden soon periodically! I spent a lot of time in here and even my friend helped me out a lot by getting the rest of the grass removed.  There’s still some grass on the side but there’s a soil issue that we’re trying to figure out.

Herb Container Garden

Herb Garden

Here’s my little herb garden I’m working with. I actually have a Chamomile and a new Rosemary inside which I don’t have a picture of. These ones are Italian Oregano, Thyme, Pineapple Sage, Sweet Mammoth Basil and Boxwood Basil. They are looking lovely so far. I actually just was reading up on the Pineapple Sage and it said that it had a pineapple smell on the leaves which I never realized and it does! 🙂 That is so cool!

Mosquito Repellent Container Garden

Mosquito Repellent Container

I kid you not! My patio is going to be mosquito repellent everything soon. Actually, I tried a similar container like this and it was pretty good.  Last year, I didn’t and I was just mosquito buffet. This has Geranium Citronella, (my dying) Rosemary, Lemongrass and Marigolds. The rest of the marigolds is planted in the container on the ledge of the patio.

Marigolds

Flower Patch

Flowers

This is also not reflective of what it is now. My crimson star is blooming a lot yesterday. The addition here is my new echinacea and my husband’s violet. We also ended up getting some lily of the valley in our path unexpectedly. I suspect its because of my neighbor’s patch. My mom gave me some flowers that are growing and hopefully will have buds eventually. Things are looking good.  I added some new top soil so it looks healthier now. Its going to be a slow process to get some new top soil for everywhere, including the grass.

We have a few yard projects this summer so I’ll keep you in the loop as to what else is going to come up. This year’s goal is to make my garden beautiful and thrive (at least a little bit more than before). So far, its going well!

An Amazing Belated Birthday Surprise

Did I ever tell you that I have the most amazing best friend in the world even if she is sporadically vanishing because of her busy schedule and she lives provinces away from me right now? She flew in to be my bridemaids for the wedding back in October and completely surprised me last week when I came home to a package on my front door. I thought it was my husband’s but it turned out to be Amazon Fulfillment Service and I opened it up and this is what I got!!

Blue Snowball iCe

A New Mic for podcasting! I’ve been saving up for a new mic for a while now.  A lot of new gear to get the gaming and podcast quality to go up. Lots of upgrades needed and I’m trying to get it done little by little. I was using the mic on my webcam and it feels like its slowly dying. So this is amazing! And you know what this also means, her support for my passion for this new thing I’m doing! I’ve thanked her a thousand times and she knows I appreciate this so much.

I guess its fair to say that a lot of people in my life don’t understand how I’m still blogging and spending a lot of time doing this. I’m not earning anything from it and it all seems like a hollow and unrealistic dream/hobby that is just expensive at times. Fact is, I like doing this and I hope to improve enough to be more and its nice to know that one more person, especially one of my best friends understands that.

Cute Kitty Moment

cat

Upcoming:

  • Next round of Netflix A-Z
  • Baking Through Disney
  • Book reviews
  • TV Binges

Have an awesome day, my lovelies!
This week is going to be super relaxing as I create some sort of backlog! Enjoy! 🙂

Happy Year of the Fire Monkey! :)

Happy Chinese New Year~! 🙂

We’re stepping into the Year of the Monkey today in Chinese tradition.  Spring has arrived in the lunar calendar and we welcome it with a lot of traditions.  We spent most of the weekend tidying the house and making sure that we’re all set for a fresh start in the New Year! This is the first year I’m spending Chinese New Year living at my new house away from my mom.  We had to put together a bit of decorations to hopefully bring some good luck.

Here’s a bit of the decorations around our house and some of the Chinese New Year celebrations and we’ll end with a 2016 New Year video.  Its in Cantonese and its a ton of good luck wishes but yeah, its fun to watch even if you don’t know what its saying. And well, Hoi-Pang Lo is one that you’ll recognize if you watch Hong Kong movies. 😉

I know its more flowers than anything but its really lively and I love having them there.  We have a few of those hanging decorations.  I just didn’t want to bore you with how they are everywhere as well as those lucky slogans.  We have 3 of those around the house. As for the orchids, they opened just in time for the New Year.  The timing couldn’t be any better! 🙂

Dinner

Dinner

Chiense New Year

Year Cake

Rice Balls

Dessert

Heading over to my mom’s for dinner is always awesome! I think my mom makes the best food ever so what more can I say? Plus, we had the Superbowl playing in the background which I talked more than I watched but the halftime show was fun.  I thought it did the 50 years justice.  Bruno Mars was a great special guest and its great that they had him because well, he got judged so harshly back when he did it a few years ago that having him back gives him justice that he is definitely a great performer. Plus, Coldplay is always great! 🙂

Happy Chinese New Year from my family! :)

Happy Chinese New Year from my family! 🙂

And now for the song! 🙂

Have a great day, my lovelies! 🙂
It may be Chinese New Year but expect another post this afternoon!

My Weekly Adventures!

Instead of boring you with my little details, this time, I spaced it out deliberately to two weeks.  I had nothing to report back with so it just makes sense to get this in now with a little bit more activities. This time around, its slowed down quite a bit.  I’m trying to clear up my schedule a little and just relax, catch up on some sleep and find back some energy.  Plus, I need to get ahead with the blog so its all a work in progress. We are also trying to get the house in order and looking nice enough for any relatives that come and want to visit 😉

1) Second visit to Poutineville

As mentioned in the last Weekly Adventures, we went on our second visit and I met even more of my fiance’s friends.  Crazy stuff, eh? This wedding, I tell you. Its making life colorful.  And I mean, his friends are really colorful like their personality and their thoughts are hard to catch up with.

Anyways, I finally had the poutine at Poutineville.  Its not so much real as I wasn’t sure about the gravy so they suggested the Italian meat sauce instead. Its kind of what we call Michigan-style (instead of hot dogs, we have fries and cheese).

Poutineville

Chicken & Bacon Poutine with Dairy-free Cheese and Meat Sauce

Then, like the last time, a visit to Chocolate Favoris.

Chocolat Favoris

Gelato choices

Sorbet choices

Sorbet choices

chocolats favoris

Ice Cream with Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Dip

chocolats favoris

Banana Mango Strawberry Sorbet

Its turning into something of a tradition.  I just might want to refrain from Poutineville for the next few weeks until after the big day. So that, all my hard work is not put to waste, right?

2) Nike Re-Run

Last weekend, Nike Running app sent me an email telling me that on Saturday, a run that we did would give us the chance to have a Nike Re-run video.  Now, that sounds awesome and what’s great about having this blog is I love trying out new little things.  So, I got in an afternoon run on Saturday even though I was so not feeling like it.  But I did it and kept to my workout goals. I was thinking that maybe I wouldn’t get it because the run wasn’t all that great.  My time was a little meh. But on Sunday, I ended up getting the email prompt to get the video.  We got to choose the time log and pick whichever one.  My routes are more or less the same.  It varies in direction, side of the street or going through the park or whatever small streets.  I actually need to map out a new path to explore the other side of the new neighborhood I moved in.  Still, here is what I yield.

That is my fastest time I’ve done so far. I haven’t quite beat that time yet as an average.

http://nrcre-run.nike.com/us/en_us/nrcre-run/shared/0a8b587cc02123dd6fb2a56cc3af1f4e/1

Oh right, and I run against traffic because it feels safer for me and the lights don’t change when I plan on crossing the road or whatever.  I just like to run with as little interruptions as possible. On a side note, a few days later, I ran my fastest km…but still, this is my best average pace.  Lets hope it improves 😉

3) Quantico’s Set

If anyone is interested in seeing the new series Quantico, they have been shooting in Old Montreal right in front of the old Royal Bank building. They had done filming on and off for 2-3 weeks at least.  It looks really impressive and my guess is that its going to be the series headquarters or something.  The series already has me intrigued.  Its right up my alley of what I usually watch for TV series and with it being filmed so nearby, it has me even more interested 🙂

wpid-20150904_173433.jpg

4) Vist at Seigneurie de l’ile d’Orleans (and some spontaneous stops)

We bought a voucher for a visit to this garden at l’ile d’Orleans a while back and its edging near expiry and we even missed the peak season to see the lavender gardens but we did buy it so we took a little day trip out to l’ile d’Orleans and visited a rather green garden 😉  I apologize but I only have my fiance’s pictures.  My pictures haven’t quite made it in the computer yet. However, I will be doing a full post on this if the pictures do turn out good.  I think I did some artsy stuff playing with the focus and whatnot. Not sure how it turned out.

Seigneurie de l'ile d'orleans

seigneurie de l'Ile d'Orleans

L’ile d’Orleans in summer is definitely different from winter.  It was full of people.  We did end up stopping at a newly opened La Nougaterie which is a place that I love which makes amazing soft nougats.  Apparently, they just moved to this location for two weeks and I caught it completely spontaneously.  We bought some little nougats and had some tasting.  If you haven’t tasted these nougats, you have to.  I look forward to getting it at the arts and crafts show for their Christmas flavored one.  Its like heaven in my mouth.

The last stop we made before we left was at Cassis Mona et Filles which is a winery that focuses on blackcurrant wines and liqueurs.  They have a really awesome recipe using one of their Fruité liqueur and the syrup based one along with club soda and fruits that makes THE BEST sangria I’ve ever tasted. We, of course, got that. They also sell some more dry wines like their Port.  I almost couldn’t swallow that one because it was rather dry.

5) Garden Updates

Its almost time to close the gardens but we had a surge of heat wave and my plants are all confused.  Its good though.  We’re getting our big batch of strawberries and raspberries.  I’m considering to get a blueberry plant for next year.  I have a bit of space next to all these berries but it might not work so well because sun doesn’t hit that corner as much.  Anyways, next year’s projects aren’t anything to discuss now.  Look at those strawberries and raspberries 🙂

Raspberry plant

Raspberry plant

STRAWBERRY

Strawberry plant

Confused plant doesn’t get any more than my clematis.  It has the hardest time staying alive in that spot.  I was starting to think about moving it again but didn’t know where just yet.  Then the heat wave hit and its having a ton of buds.  I sure hope the weather holds up so that it can bloom.  I haven’t seen one flower bloom on it yet.  Better late than never, right? 😉

Clematis

Clematis

Finally, we are seeing signs of the fall chrysanthemums coming out.  Its budding and about to bloom.  The big one is from the previous owners and my little ones last year, only one survived but its more than enough with whats there now since the marigolds are still blooming.

Fall Chrysanthemum

Fall Chrysanthemum

6) What’s Next…

  • Netflix A-Z: I-L movies (next two weeks)
  • The Classics Adventures: book review and corresponding movie review
  • Alaska Cruise: Day 5 & 6
  • PRIORITY: Baking Through Disney: recipe & next movie

That’s it for this time’s Weekly Adventures! Short and sweet! 🙂
Happy Friday, my lovelies! Enjoy your weekend!

Gardening (& Home): Spring is Here!

Not like I don’t have enough segments, I’m going to add one on gardening.  I think that this blog might head into some home stuff since my house is a huge focus of my life right now.  Living there gains a whole lot of perspective in having a million things to do. At times it can feel overwhelming but I’m up to the challenge.  I’m in my second week officially moved out and I’ve really wanted to use this opportunity to put a fun element of that here, now that I’ve finally seemed to gain some regularity to sleeping.  Kind of.  Energy levels are going up and there’s still a lot to do and I’m taking baby steps to get them done.

Spring has been long-awaited and last year, I already talked a lot about my container gardening progress with a little help from one of my friends.  She’s off to have a baby really soon so I’m pretty much alone this year to start the season.  First task on hand was getting the garden ready and this past weekend proved to be extremely efficient.  I cleared all the flower beds from dead leaves and pruned some perennials and all that lovely stuff. I even turned  a little bit of the soil and planned out how I’d like the garden to go this year. Planning is the first step, right?

I’m not sure if I’m behind with sowing seeds but seeing as my tulips and daffodils are just growing now, not even flowers yet. I’d say I still have a bit of time. Except for these ones..

wpid-20150419_160549.jpg

While flowers were scarce, we’ve been decorating our den with some lovely flowers like this.

wpid-20150329_140846.jpg

I’m proud of my den because while my books didn’t quite fit completely in the shelf there, this room is super awesome from the color of the walls to the simple decor.  Out of all the rooms, I think this one is the closest to be done.  Well, the office is pretty good too once I sit down and set up my PC.  I’m just too lazy to backup my laptop who reminds me everyday that it might just about die on me…scary thought.

The first week I was there, I sowed some broccoli, basil and cat grass. Unfortunately my basil has shown no sign of anything.  I think maybe the seeds aren’t good anymore.

broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts

Cat Grass

Cat Grass sprouts

I had to elevate my cat grass from the bay window before my cat destroyed it before it was even worthy of her eating it.

Plus my calla lily made it through the storage season under my care with a lot of help from my mom giving me pointers.

Calla Lily

Calla Lily sprouting

The sole survivor from last year that looks miserable the whole winter took one shot of root booster to be filled with flower buds are my pink fuschia.

fuschia

Fuschia

Joining this one is my mom’s gift which is a yellow orchid. She claims orchids don’t need sunlight but just light in general so the bay window is perfect for it. I’m not exactly sure it’s that easy.  I’ll stay optimistic.

wpid-20150422_072930.jpg

Especially since, the boyfriend went and got me another pot of orchids for my birthday.

orchids

I love orchids.  I just don’t know how to take care of them.  In my mind, they are extremely hard to sustain.  I’m going to have to start reading up on it a little.  I do hope that it will blossom again after this time.

That’s a little update on my new living environment and introducing my gardening segment.  If it holds up, I’ll add a little menu spot for it 🙂

My next gardening update should include sowing more seeds, probably carrots, cucumbers and zucchini and perhaps sweet peas for container gardening indoors.

Do you like to garden? Have your spring bulbs sprouted or bloomed yet? What do you like to grow?

Happy Chinese New Year!! Its the Year of the Sheep!

Today is Chinese New Year! Although I’m not the cook when it comes to these things because my mom is the boss.  I just felt like I should share some Chinese New Year decorations.

Since I’m STILL in the midst of moving to my new place.  Final moving date set for March 1st tentatively….but I’m set about 80% positive it’ll happen because I’m plain sick of having my life divided into two.  This year, I had to take care of flower decorations for both places 😉 Sad thing when Valentine’s Day is around the same time is that its incredibly hard to find flowers so I couldn’t find the lilies that I wanted and this year, our flower selection is different from previous years.  Change can be good and it still works out good 🙂

Lets start with my own place’s decorations.  Not quite as abundant and it was taken with my smartphone.

Sorry for the poor lighting.  I didn’t play around with it too much on my phone. Next year, I’m going to get a little more decorations and have earlier prep 🙂

Moving on to my mom’s place,  I didn’t put all the decorations because its literally EVERYWHERE! But here’s a few pictures from last night taken with my DSLR.

Flowers

Flowers

Now to wrap up the post, last night’s Chinese New Year Eve dinner with dishes including fish, lotus root, chicken..all having their own good meanings.

Chinese New Year Eve Dinner

Chinese New Year Eve Dinner

Like always, my mom makes the best meal! It was so yummy! 🙂

That’s it for now!

Happy Chinese New Year!

May the Year of the Sheep bring you lots of happiness, awesomeness and success. 

Psst..another Oscar review coming up in the afternoon! Remember to check back! Appreciate it! 😉

Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

This week, share an image that highlights a size relationship — make us pause and take a second look to understand the scale of the elements in your photo. – The Daily Post

I’m not exactly sure how to approach this topic to believe in but I took the original post’s inspiration and worked on looking up pictures with different scale/size relationships.

Not so much to say about this one but, search up the hidden objects here? Should be pretty apparent 😉

butterfly field

Butterflies and yellow flowers

squirrel and fence

Squirrel on the fence

ducks in a river

Ducks on a River

kungfu with kids

Martial arts session with kids

real and fake cats

Cats: Real vs. Fake

insect in flower

Insect in flowers

bees in flowers

Bumblebees and purple flowers

What do you think? On topic or off topics? I started losing track of contrast and scale after a while.. Haha! Still, some pictures for your enjoyment!

A little break from the Valentine’s Marathon, which is only returning tomorrow for a finale! But I’ll have a nice little Valentine’s themed post in the afternoon 🙂

Happy Friday, my lovelies!

My Weekly Adventures!

Life is an adventure so anything I do qualifies! So before you start talking about how watching TV isn’t, thats like saying reading a book isn’t. I can pretty much say that there’s a lot of readers who would disagree with you.  We are explorers and we travel to lots of fun places. Maybe you think I’m crazy but I’m not 😉 So to saythat this week is less actually going somewhere but just achieving little things.

Before we move along with this, I’d like to remind or bring to your attention that my Halloween Movie Marathon Poll has been up.  If you haven’t seen it or having voted, please head on over HERE to help me out 🙂 With some earlier planning, I can get more movies seen in October and make it an amazing month, especially with all of your help/recommendations!

1) Dragon’s Den!

dragon's den poster

I absolutely love watching Dragon’s Den.  I skipped a few season in middle but when it first launched, it was one of my favorite shows.  Its really grown to be completely amazing.  Although some pitches are just completely out there, some are really awesome ideas.

The last episode where recapped some of the some deals are usually amazing.  Its all so amazing to see people’s dreams become a reality.

2) Splurging on TV *blush*

A little shameless selfie :)

A little shameless selfie 🙂

I never intend to splurge and I pretty much don’t impulse buy anymore. And I didn’t because I fully planned to go out and get Season 2 of Arrow but then I was thinking, I have to catch up with Vampire Diaries also. Now I’m waiting for Grey’s Anatomy Season 10 to go on special too (but then I didn’t watch Season 9 yet so its not so rushed).  See, I’m still logical, right? 😉

I’m trying to not go too crazy over Arrow so I started watching Vampire Diaries on the weekend.

3) A Productive Weekend Starts….Harvesting Herbs

Vegetable Herb Harvest

Lemongrass, Orange Thyme and Yellow Zucchini

The weather got cold really fast last week and somehow is supposed to get warmer this week again….gradually.  Either way, it was the kick in my butt to speed up the process and let my fatigue take the backseat.  Thursday night activity consisted of going to harvest everything I could while there was still a bit of light before sunset.  Orange Thyme and Lemongrass is currently in the drying process.

4) Bike Support for my Friends

Thanks to my friend who took the picture

Thanks to my friend who took the picture

Oasis Marathon is going to be happening this coming weekend so my friends who are going to do the half marathon along with one doing the 10km and 3 others in for the fun went out for a group jog.  My job was to be bike support for their 17km run.  It included making sure that they were hydrated and giving them directions and scouting out the route ahead.  There were heavy winds and then my bike support broke down near the end because of bike issues.  Note to self, next time make sure to bring tools.  I did manage to bike very slowly home after making sure everyone passed the intersection to head home.  It was a pretty fun day and I biked a whole lot of distance and I was so tired after but I couldn’t let my body slow down because the garden and my house needed me.

5) Transplanting in and out

Garden

Top Left are the transplanted flowers from pots for next year

Between early morning before bike support and coming back afterwards, I got the two flowers at the top left planted into soil.  They should be both perennials viable in my zone.  They were also paired with others so I needed to pot those right away and brought in a few plants as well.

indoor plants

Eucalyptus, Orange Thyme and Citronella Geranium inside

This is only partial because others are by the bay window or in the dining room. Still a lot of transplanting to do this week and then hopefully it will be done…for now. Next is the shopping for spring bulbs and getting those in the ground.

6) Workout room done!

On Saturday, after the run, I went to battle the anniversary sale in Walmart and aside from a bunch of household products, I also ended up getting on special the final touches to our workout room.

Hello workout flooring ;)

Hello workout flooring 😉

Oh right, my boyfriend’s weights.  Mine haven’t been moved yet.  I can’t possibly lift that.  All I can do is roll them across the floor when they are in my way.

7) Making Awesome Ribs

Ribs

I know I’m backtracking, but on Friday night, I sat down after running errands at my place with more moving stuff around and came home to make my ribs.  Ended up eating at around 9:30pm or something but they were so worth it.  I don’t know the measurements but I used soy sauce, smoked paprika, ground pepper, honey, ground coriander, herbes de provence to marinate it.  I did marinate it in the morning and then just popped it in the oven for 1.5 hours in the evening.  They turned out amazingly delicious 🙂

8) Autumn Chrysanthemums

wpid-20140920_084154.jpg wpid-20140920_084149.jpg

Nothing more to say on that.  So beautiful 🙂

9) Hot Pot (aka Chinese Fondue) with my girl friends

wpid-20140921_193022.jpg

One of my girl friends came back from Western Canada to settle a few things so we got together for a hot pot hang out.  There was so much food and it was amazing to chat with the girls.  Its always filled with fun and laughter.  And we’re even going to go see The Maze Runner together this week.  Yay! 🙂

10) Favorite Quote this Week

dark side

It was a tad tiring and busy but it was pretty fun as well.  I’m looking forward to seeing The Maze Runner.  I can actually see the fuzzy finish line in this whole moving business where I’m trying to do it slow and by myself so I can save money, still, its almost there.

How was your week? Tell me about it!

Happy Monday! 🙂

Charlevoix Day Trip!

On Sunday at about 9am, my friend met me at my place and we set out for our day long drive to Charlevoix.

I’ve already been a few years ago during summer vacation with my boyfriend.  We actually came across the whole area on a spontaneous desire to see where the autoroute 132 would lead and ended up with some pretty amazing scenery.  Last time we didn’t stop at a lot of viewpoints but I was fully aware of the beauty of the landscape itself.  However, an unfortunate situation with technology, aka a virus attack, wiped my computer that fall and those were the only pictures that I had not backed up yet.  Actually there was some other ones from Canyon St Anne, also in that area, but I’ve been meaning to go back to that region for a second visit and redo my pictures. So, here I am!

It takes about 4.5 hours to get to La Malbaie and a little bit less, maybe ten minutes less to come back.  Its highly feasible as our main goal is to make short stops at various viewpoints we come across and take pictures or take short visits in whatever location.

This drive would lead us for a first part of a rather uneventful drive is to get to Quebec City. Its essentially nothing much to see for 2.5 to 3 hours.  The best part is seeing cows and farms and endless straight roads surrounded by trees. However, the weather was a little gray when we left but took the turn for the better as the day went on.  That always helps 🙂

Our first stop was after crossing the Pierre Laporte Bridge in Quebec City to the autoroute next to the Montmorency Falls Park, which we drove by and then further down, we reach a beautiful church called St Anne du Beaupre Sanctuary.  I was here last time as well and its just amazing.

St Anne du Beaupre Sanctuary

St Anne du Beaupre Sanctuary

Parking was per person so we tallied up to $4 and went off to take a walk around the area and inside the church.  There was a mass going on so I kept the pictures at a minimum and only in the other rooms and not where there was the actual mass, because thats not only against the rules but also quite disrespectful.

St anne du beaupre sanctuary

st anne du beaupre sanctuary

st anne du beaupre sanctuary

After walking around a little and my friend going to get a shooter glass for his collection for this trip, we were on our way again.

Next stop: Baie St Paul –> The beginning of the River Route

The first viewpoint is also the beginning of the River Route along with the Charlevoix tourist information centre.  I always like to visit these because then I can get a good idea for future trips, especially for the next time my boyfriend and I go hiking.  Other than beautiful scenery, the best part about Quebec is all the mountainous areas and all the hiking trails.  Its the biggest province in Canada but its not densely populated so it leaves lots of rooms to connect with nature 🙂

Charlevoix

Viewpoint #1

Charlevoix

Viewpoint #1

After grabbing a bunch of pamphlets and maps and seeing all these potential hiking trails, my enthusiasm came right back (probably even more than before that long morning drive felt). The scenery is breathtaking already and this is just the start.

Back in the car and on to the next viewpoint! This time, we are going uphill for a bit and buried in a mountain side looking back into the water and land.

Charlevoix

Viewpoint #2

Charlevoix

Viewpoint #2

After enjoying this and taking a bit of an opportunity to stretch out, while cursing at the stupid car that parked super close next to mine despite ALL the other places, especially since it was a close maneuver to get out and back onto the uphill (and pretty busy) road, I finally got out and continued along.

The next viewpoint is located in an area called Les Eboulements as in the mountains that surround it.  Its pretty much a plateau looking over the St Lawrence River and also if we went further near the coast, it would be the ferry to go over to the Iles aux Coudres, an beautiful island that you can see partially in two pictures below.

Les Eboulements Charlevoix

Viewpoint #3

Les Eboulements Charlevoix

Viewpoint #3

Les Eboulements Charlevoix

Viewpoint #3

I’ve never been to Iles aux Coudres but I plan on going one day.  It looks absolutely beautiful and there’s tons of activities to do.

After this area, the rest of the River Route starts going downhill till we eventually get to the coast running along what I believe is the St Lawrence River with a few wharfs, beaches and whatnot.  We eventually saw that where there were a few cars that pulled over.  That is our final “unofficial” viewpoint.

Charlevoix

Viewpoint #4

Charlevoix

Viewpoint #4

St Irenee Charlevoix

Viewpoint #4

This was a really comfortable and peaceful place to look at.  It did eventually get a little too breezy and that was when we knew it was time to head home.  At the end of this River Route along the Route 362, it merges back at La Malbaie, the final region and merges back into autoroute 138 to go back home.

The drive home was pretty intense, especially the first part going back to the Quebec City area.  I had to make a stop to freshen up with some lovely green tea.  And on we went back home pretty much afterwards.  I had stopped drinking tea for a few months already so I guess my body completely reacted (or overreacted) to the caffeine because I was wide awake for the next 4 hours and made it back right on track at around 8pm.

It sounds a bit crazy to do a day trip with that many hours to get to our destination and just taking pictures but believe me, the view in Charlevoix is part of the 1000 Places  to see before you die book.  Its soothing and breathtaking.  You could even go back via the Mountain Route, which I was supposed to do but apparently I missed the part to go in so we skipped that and just left.

Beautiful scenery, a nice escape, road trip, good company…I really couldn’t ask for more.

Have you been to Charlevoix? Which viewpoint do you like the best?